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Nursing graduates and students - job shortage


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#1 Lady Excentrique

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

I finish my degree this year and I'm freaking out. The situation here is not good (QLD), the local hospital has not taken on a single graduate nurse from last years graduates. I think there was only one post-grad course position, and 5 in mental health. They were snapped up quickly and I know there are many graduates who have not found jobs. Most jobs ask for at least 1 yr experience now and how do you get that if you can't even get a start?

So I'm looking at graduating nursing and winding up with no job at the end of this year. I really want to do midwifery but I know demand was high to start with and no doubt they have cut the amount of students they will take.

3.5 years of hard work and major stress. And I could be left jobless.

How is it for everyone else?

News articles for those interested:
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensl...f-1226519850855
http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/neil-mitchell-...1009-27amr.html
http://www.nursingreview.com.au/pages/sect...idArticle=22561
http://www.news.com.au/national/graduate-n...1-1226504232838
http://www.anfvic.asn.au/news/43104.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-01/job-...-nurses/4345560

Edited by Excentrique, 07 February 2013 - 11:49 AM.


#2 little lion

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

Sorry to hear about that. I heard some community care organizations like Anglicare are now doing graduate programs.

#3 Mianta

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:33 AM

Oh op I really feel for all nursing and midwifery grads at the moment, particularly in QLD. Times are tough. sad.gif  A friend of mine had her grad position cancelled on her at the last minute.

I would try to apply to most places, such as public and private hospitals for grad years and even consider doing your grad year in another state. That is what a lot of grads have had to do. I know you are hoping to do your middy over the next couple of years, but to be honest, I wouldn't even consider it until you have had a few years as an RN up your sleeve.

Experience and flexiability is the key to getting a permanent position in these times.

#4 elizabethany

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

You can get jobs in aged care and disability services as well, it may be another angle to look into.  Unfortunately, since state governments have been retrenching workers, a lot of industries have been or will face this sort of problem.

I had this when I graduated, BHP fired 200 people in my local region and in my specialty (Materials Chemistry) about a month before I graduated.  I was unemployed for a year, and ended up moving states to find work, in a position I never expected to work in.

#5 Bluemakede

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

I'm in Queensland as well, 3rd year, so facing the same situation.

Originally with a baby due mid year we had decided for me to push on full-time and complete this year. After all the job cuts (and hearing things such as RBWH sacking grads mid year last year), we decided about 2 weeks ago for me to go part time next semester (and I'm planning to drop one subject for this semester) and complete next year. I didn't want to in the end sacrifice so much time and end up with nothing at the end, and considering that 2011 graduates were meant to be the worst year for grad uptakes and then having 2012 grads being hit worse, I'm really worried how this year will pan out. So I'm praying that next year the situation may improve slightly and increase the chances of finding work (and they'll be getting closer to needing thousands more nurses, the year was 2015 or 2016??? for the major shortage).

Other things you could look at is doing a masters straight up, you can still apply for grad positions after this, my sister went this route as she wanted to be somewhat specialised before she had her grad position (mental health nursing). Another one is going to community and really selling yourself, not just handing over a resume, offer to trial etc, I know people who have gotten jobs this way in the last 2 years (sucks though if you loath community), you could try aged care as well. I would still be applying for Midwifery, you may well get in.

The situation here really sucks, we were told at the beginning of the degree that things were improving, but it's basically gone down hill very fast. Even living in Brisbane is of zero use, even with the amount of hospitals, grad positions have gone from 300ish for the PA to around 120. Places like QEII have gone from 30 grads in previous years to 1 and now none. Even the magical 'go rural' doesn't help anymore, since so many are closing sad.gif

Edited by Bluemakede, 07 February 2013 - 11:38 AM.


#6 TinyTeddys

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:41 AM

I haven't read the links but its very poor form on the hospitals part.

They should have a set number of allocated new grad positions so nurses can gain support and experience. On the ward I work on we have 4 new grad positions...some of the nurses can't find employment after their 12 months but at least they have completed the program.

Why is it so bad in QLD?

#7 Lady Excentrique

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

I didn't realise that grad students had been sacked. How awful for them.

I'd be quite happy to do aged care. However I've been told they prefer experienced nurses since your in charge and responsible should anything happen.

Things in QLD are very bad thank you to the notorious Campbell Newman. Despite needing more nurses he will not fund them.

I'm in Toowoomba. Moving isn't much of an option at this stage as I'm not sure DH would find work elsewhere.

#8 lucky 2

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

It's bad in Vic too and to add to the misery there has been major funding cuts bc of a stoush btn State and Fed Govts so even less available. I'm employed in outpatient services and my job is at risk and I've been qualified (Mid) for almost 20 yrs. sad.gif
When I graduated from Mid it was a bad time too, it did pass after a few years and positions were easier to find, often things don't stay the same for ever and I hope you all find employment in your chosen fields.
My neice has just accepted a job interstate for her grad year (Radiography) due to the lack of positions in Vic.

#9 Bluemakede

Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE (TinyTeddys @ 07/02/2013, 11:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why is it so bad in QLD?


They're trying to make the health system self service  tongue.gif

LNP slashed a massive amount of jobs in health (and among many other areas) to pay for infrastructure debt (ie not bad debt and after 2011 floods it was needed, but you can't tell that to people who love the LNP), they then made up 16 hospital boards to pass blame for the cuts. No frontline staff were to be cut, but so many in nursing, and other areas that are frontline have gone, so they won't hire grads when they are getting rid of normal staff. Many positions that are being offered aren't fulltime, so grad years are spread out now over 2 years, or they'll offer a 0.8 and not actually give you any hours.

They are also privatising so many areas within the public system (community health attached to hospitals etc), and selling off government aged care, so fewer jobs to go around as the private equivalents hire less people.

Edited by Bluemakede, 07 February 2013 - 11:57 AM.


#10 Lady Excentrique

Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE (Bluemakede @ 07/02/2013, 11:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They're trying to make the health system self service  tongue.gif


Thankyou for the giggle!

Its even worse at the local hospital. They were massively over budget and looking for ways to cut costs. (how funny they just built a whole new ward for cancer patients). When I was in there they were talking about not replacing staff who called in sick and other cost cutting measures. http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/patien...leave-/1627456/

Anyway they shut down a whole ward (after opening the chemo one) which in itself is not unusual, but there is talk of never reopening it. It would normally reopen around autumn from my understanding.

So all the staff from that ward have been pushed onto other wards which means that all the nurses are getting less work. Add these issues onto the cost cutting from state government and the graduates around these parts have a snow flakes chance in hell of getting their foot in the door.

meanwhile, lets spend $10 million on upgrading the kitchen! http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/new-ki...easier/1697683/

Edited by Excentrique, 07 February 2013 - 12:23 PM.


#11 *Enigma*

Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

At the end of 2011, I was one of those QLD grads with no job and no prospects! I had two degrees already and was told by numerous nurses I would be 'snapped up'. Yeah right!!! Tried a bit of midwifery, but prospects are not much better and honesty I was just over it by then

Thankfully those other degrees mean I had something to go back to. I hope you have better luck. One of the other students - a male student no less- didn't get a job and he had been a paramedic for 15 years.

I will add though,almost everyone under 25 years old seemed to have gotten grad positions. Hmmm......

And your right too, no grad year = no one wants to know you  sad.gif

Edited by *Enigma*, 07 February 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#12 JuliaGulia

Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:32 PM

It's bad everywhere, unfortunately.  I don't know how a hospital got away with sacking grads mid-year, since they are given funding for them.  The problem is not really the hospitals, as most of the cost of grads is covered by the governments through funding.

What I would recommend is working this year as a PCA / AIN in Aged Care.  Not only will it help your chances of getting a grad spot, but it may increase your chance of getting work as an RN in Aged Care if you have some lower level experience in there.

I was very, very relieved to get my grad spot at the end of last year.  I would not have studied nursing if I had thought there was a risk of me not being able to work.

Keep an eye on the ANF too; they're campaigning for more spots.

#13 Cantankerous

Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

I'm 3rd this year I'm already an EN but knowing how many grads missed out last year we are all thinking will be worse this year. They push for all theses nurses yet when we finally finish 3 years we are left out to fend for ourselves. Wrong wrong wrong.

#14 Turn left

Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

I did my grad year last year.  I have been extremely fortunate to have secured a grad position in the first place, and now secured a 4 month contract this year with the same hospital.  There's no guarantees.  Hospitals are cutting staff.

Getting a degree doesn't guarantee a job.  Doing your grad year doesn't guarantee a job.

#15 Lady Excentrique

Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

I did a year as an AIN back in 2003, but I doubt that will help. sad.gif

#16 greenthumbgirl

Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:19 PM



I'm rural Victoria and it's terrible here too. I was chatting to one of my nursing lecture ladies a couple of weeks ago and she was saying that 30% of Deakin nursing graduates missed out on graduate positions. Victoria wide 1200 students missed out on positions.

Just for interest our local hosy takes 5-6 graduates a year, out of last years grad positions (end of their grad year) only 1 nurse was offered a job of 20hrs per fortnight. I guess at least they got a Grad year?
I really hope things turn around.

#17 greenthumbgirl

Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:20 PM

*strange double post thingo

Edited by greenthumbgirl, 07 February 2013 - 07:21 PM.


#18 Bluemakede

Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

QUOTE (*Enigma* @ 07/02/2013, 03:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I will add though,almost everyone under 25 years old seemed to have gotten grad positions. Hmmm......


I noticed that with a lot of the grads when on placement, all quite young, yet we're always told older more 'mature' people are more sort after  rolleyes.gif


QUOTE (JuliaGulia @ 07/02/2013, 03:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know how a hospital got away with sacking grads mid-year, since they are given funding for them.  The problem is not really the hospitals, as most of the cost of grads is covered by the governments through funding.

What I would recommend is working this year as a PCA / AIN in Aged Care.  Not only will it help your chances of getting a grad spot, but it may increase your chance of getting work as an RN in Aged Care if you have some lower level experience in there.


I have no idea either (or if it was even true, it came from a fellow student who has a friend working in the next ward), but the funding for health has been cut a lot up here, so I wouldn't be surprised. The cut to funding is also why last years grads had bugger all positions available, out of approx 2500 graduates about 500 got jobs in the public hospital system mellow.gif Not sure about the private hospitals, but they definitely weren't going to be giving out that many extra grad positions.

For last years grads, at least, AIN/PCA work seemed to be of no help, there were grads who had been working as AIN's in hospital and got 1 or no interviews at all, though I know of others who have managed to move through aged care facilities from AIN to EEN to RN with the support of their work thankfully, but those had been working there for a while, or I guess meshed well with the facility. You do tend to have a slightly better chance at some hospitals if your uni has a strong affiliation with them.

I guess we can only hope that it recovers again soon for all the states.

#19 healthySA

Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:03 PM

Calling all nurses, are you a graduate or early career nurse?

Health Workforce Australia has recently embarked on a project aimed at identifying opportunities for effective nationally coordinated action, to strengthen the sustainability and capacity of the nursing workforce. Tell us your story at www.hwaconnect.net.au/nursingstories.

Your feedback will help to shape the future of nursing in Australia by identifying what is working well and what needs to change.

#20 Phascogale

Posted 14 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

QUOTE
I will add though,almost everyone under 25 years old seemed to have gotten grad positions. Hmmm......
Funny you would say this.  I had someone make the same comment for our graduating year.  Didn't make sense when more mature students with better marks and clinical skills missed out.

#21 ubermum

Posted 14 April 2013 - 02:07 PM

Well, I am nearly 40 and I got one. Mind you, I have a 6.2 GPA and 4 years experience as a PCA while I did my degree. In Vic through computer match we get 4 preferences. I got an interview for each of my preferences. You really need to make sure you resume and application letter is going to get you an interview or you have no hope.  It's hard and I feel sorry for you 3rd years, particularly in QLD. It's nowhere near as bad here, but 800 grads missed out down here. The most recent ANF magazine was about this issue.

#22 Wise Old Owl

Posted 14 April 2013 - 02:38 PM

Is the Nursing shortage Australia wide?  Anyone know if it affects WA?

#23 ubermum

Posted 14 April 2013 - 02:40 PM

QUOTE (OneBlueStar @ 14/04/2013, 02:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is the Nursing shortage Australia wide?  Anyone know if it affects WA?

The shortage is for experienced nurses. Not for new graduates who need to get experience. Believe it or not there is recruiters off in Ireland getting nurses for Australia while we have grads submitting their resume's to Woolies.




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